Travelling would be much better if it weren’t for all the people.
“Sir, if you don’t shut your whiney son up I am going to have to step in.”
“Ma’am, we all want to get off this plane, but you and I are in row 28 so would you please sit until it’s our turn instead of shoving your ass in my face for 15 minutes?”
“Hey, person in the seat in front of me I know there isn’t enough room to sleep or do any work but bouncing all your weight into your seat while pushing the button is not going to gain you room, it’s just going to spill my drink all over me. So, if you don’t mind, please quit being a dick.”
My layover in Phoenix was more of a jogtothenextgatetomakeitontimeover. But, at least I got to put my new ACL to the test having to shift around people who have no concept that there are others around them. So they walk in the middle of the walkway texting or checking Facebook on their phones or coming to a sudden and complete stop and then they look at me when I accidentally bump into/kick their whiney child that would not stop whining from Portland to Phoenix as though I am somehow malicious.
I made it to my gate just as boarding was beginning. Right next to the gate was a Mexican food place. I ordered a chicken taco salad hold the taco and cheese. I got on the plane opened up my food and noted that “salad” was more of a concept.
A woman two rows in front of me started complaining that something smelled like vomit. I am not saying she was wrong – completely – but, I just think maybe she should have been more considerate. I mean imagine if she had to eat it. But, I was starving so I dug in. I sent Andrew my pre-flight text “I hate flying. I love you.” and napped until we landed in Austin.
The rest of the trip my text messages with Andrew in summary:
Me: “Am at my cousins now. It’s hot here.”
Andrew: “Texas is hell-adjacent.”
Me: “OMG it’s hot”
Andrew: “Hell yeah.”
Me: “mmmm BarBQ”
Andrew: “I am pro-BBQ”
Me: “I am anti-heat”
Then my phone melted.
When I first got to Austin I went directly to my cousin’s house and we had some bar-b-q and some catching up. Then I went to the hotel and was immediately antsy and anxious. I have never really traveled on my own. I mean I have gone to visit people, but never have I stayed by myself somewhere and I wanted to go explore but was also kind of nervous. I eventually got over my fear and went downtown. I found a restaurant and a drink and chatted with the bartender about what to do in Austin and the similarities between Austin and Portland (hint: not the weather).
I got up the next morning and worked in my hotel room which was really comfortable. Then I decided to workout prior to my meetings and before it got too hot (too late). For the trip to Austin I packed a backpack. This was revolutionary for me as usually for an overnight trip I need to pull out the big suitcase, “just in case”. I mean, I never know what kind of clothing or shoes I am going to want or need. But, for this trip, I managed to make some hard choices and winnowed away my packing to just the outfits I really needed. Andrew was pretty impressed, which is why the fact that I brought only sports bras but no workout shirts is a factor of my foresight to the level of heat-to-undress I would need to cope and not a reflection of my having forgotten to pack workout shirts (thank god it wasn’t shorts I’d
forgotten not needed). After one mile on the treadmill I regretted not having brought a bathing suit, it was too hot to run. I got back to my room and panted for exercise.
After work on Thursday me and a coworker went out for some live music and bourbon. We ended up at Cedar Street Courtyard – an inaptly named location as it is on 4th Street and more of a courtalley. Nothing says Austin music like two skinny white chicks singing backup to a cover of Naughty by Nature’s OPP.
But in actuality the band was fun and they played a lot of more recent top-40.
It was about 100 degrees out, and Cedar Street Courtyard was an outdoor venue. So, after a bourbon all I really wanted was some water. For the new traveller to Austin, a word of advice. Do not order water, nor drink water, in Austin unless it is from a bottle. Austin tap water tastes like what public restrooms in parks smell like. I don’t mean bathroom smells generally, I mean that wet concrete musty smell. It’s disgusting. I went back to hydrating myself with bourbon.
All in all the trip was a success. I enjoyed traveling and visiting with my cousin and I am pretty sure that the older couple sitting next to me on the plane trip back belongs to the mile high club.